Friday, March 09, 2018

A meh deal for New Zealand

Trade Minister David Parker has signed the successor to the TPPA, the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, in Chile. Meh. What I really hated about the TPPA (other than the secretive and undemocratic manner in which it was negotiated behind our backs and without our consent) was US copyright bullshit and ISDS clauses. The former has been "suspended", at least until the US wants to join up, and the latter has been weakened slightly and further limited with respect to New Zealand by side agreements with other countries, but is still there. Meanwhile, the deal is worth $1.2 - $4 billion a year in 20 years time - which is basicly nothing. While being praised as economic salvation by farmers, its net effect when fully implemented is so small as to be lost in currency fluctuations.

So colour me unimpressed. Sure, it could be a lot worse. We could have a 70 year copyright term and US pharmaceutical companies destroying Pharmac, for example. But given the meagre gains and the damage getting them has and will inflict on our democracy, I'd really rather we hadn't signed the thing at all.